Elora School of Montessori

The Montessori Method

maria-montessoriMontessori is an individualized approach to education that nurtures children’s natural desire for learning and helps them achieve their full potential using specialized materials and activities.

The Montessori Method was developed more than a century ago by Dr. Maria Montessori, Italy’s first female physician. Dr. Montessori, who also held a doctorate in anthropology, based her method on her extensive scientific observation of children’s behaviour and their learning processes.
She discovered that children have a natural drive to learn and to teach themselves and that they progress through specific stages of development. Up to the age of six, children have what she called an “absorbent mind,” a remarkable ability to learn and absorb the world around them. To meet these developmental needs, Dr. Montessori created the “prepared environment,” a structured, orderly classroom with specially designed, age-appropriate educational materials and activities.

“The child must learn by his own individual activity.” – Dr. Maria Montessori

In a Montessori classroom, children choose their “purposeful activity” after the teacher has explained the specific purpose of the materials and has presented the activities in a clear, step-by-step order. Working at their own pace and under the teacher’s guidance, the children learn by making discoveries with the materials, which cultivates concentration, motivation, self-discipline, independence and a love of learning.

“Help me to do it by myself.” – Dr. Maria Montessori

Children work independently or in small groups in a mixed-age classroom where they learn from or share with one another. Unlike traditional schooling, children in a Montessori class begin writing, reading, and doing math at an early age. The Montessori curriculum for children under the age of 6 is divided into many areas, including practical life skills, sensorial exercises, mathematics, geometry, language and cultural studies.


bead-frameElementary children, typically, have a tremendously curious mind and abundant energy for research and exploration. In a research-style of learning, elementary children work in small groups on a variety of projects that spark the imagination and engage the intellect. Lessons given by a trained Montessori teacher direct the children toward activities that help them to develop reasoning abilities.
Children at this age are driven to understand the universe and their place in it and their capacity to assimilate all aspects of culture is boundless. Elementary studies include geography, biology, history, language, mathematics, science and art.

“Help me to think by myself.” – Dr. Maria Montessori

Dr. Montessori opened her first classroom in 1907 in Rome and dedicated her life to further researching and refining her method of education. She published many books, developed materials, and oversaw the establishment of schools and Montessori training centres around the world. She was nominated three times for the Nobel Peace Prize. In 1929, she founded The Association Montessori Internationale (AMI) to safeguard her method and maintain training standards. Since her death in 1952, the Montessori philosophy of education has flourished, with schools on every continent, and training centres worldwide.

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